Realizing that your child needs help for a substance use disorder can be overwhelming.
Making the decision to get help for your child’s addiction to alcohol or another drug is one of the most important in your life.
It’s helpful to know that when people struggling with a substance use disorder get the proper care and treatment they need, recovery is achievable and can be sustained.
As a chronic health condition, a substance use disorder or addiction requires support and continuity of care, so it’s important to seek help from a skilled professional with expertise in treating youth addiction.
While the hope is that your child will readily and quickly agree to treatment, don’t despair if they say “no” or wants to think about it.
There will inevitably be other opportunities to raise the subject again.
Despite what you may have heard, your child does not need to “hit rock bottom” or “has to want help,” in order to enter treatment. When they’re ready, kids with substance use disorders can use many ways to ask for help – some are very obvious, but some may be extremely subtle.
If your child expresses even a little willingness to engage with treatment — whether it’s a consultation with a health professional, attending an AA or NA meeting, or going to more intensive youth-centred programs — it may be all the invitation you need to begin the conversation and get them the help they need.
A Message of Hope
First and foremost, it is important to understand that there are many options to help your child if they are demonstrating signs of problematic substance use. By engaging with professionals who know what to look for, and what course of action would be best for your child, you are helping to move your teen along the continuum of wellness.
We understand how difficult it might be to stay positive through this process, but both you and your child need to know there is light at the end of that tunnel. This is a journey – one that you, your child, and your family take together.
Keep listening, keep moving forward and keep up that hope that your child will return to a place of health and overall wellbeing.